I'm in Jonesboro, GA. My deck is about 3 ft off the ground. I have a crawl space. The deck is leaning/sloping down from the house on the left side. I looked at many youtube videos and found the issue to be the ledge board does not have lag bolts. It is screwed in. The next thing is see is the rim joist on both side(front and ledger board)do not have a metal rim joist faster. The builder cut the bottom 1/2 in corner of the 2x8 and nailed a 2x2 trim along/underneath that cut out. Results and ironically enough no rim joist is pulling away from the ledger or the front deck. I hope pictures clarify this explanation.

From what I've read and researched I would need to jack up the deck on the left side then put lag screws (Ledgerlok). Sounds straight forward but

  1. Do I need to remove the nails from the ledger board .....with a saw?.
  2. Can I use my heavy duty car hydraulic jack to raise the deck (2 or more)?

nails in ledger board and bottom cut rim joist w/out metal bracket

deck sloping on left side

  • This probably should not rely only on being fastened to the house. It should rest on posts to support it. Jack it up, as BHaugen suggests, and get posts and footers under the four corners.
    – fixer1234
    Apr 27, 2017 at 19:32
  • Although the way they did it looks strange on my phone the house foundation should be able to support the load and I would be looking for other problems because the board sitting on the sill plate should hold the weight, is the plate rotten? Jack it up slowly to keep from doing damage and inspect both the sill and the bottoms to see if rot is causing the sag.
    – Ed Beal
    Nov 21, 2017 at 0:23

2 Answers 2


I had a deck where the rim joist bowed out, and the cross joists came unattached. I used two car jacks to get everything back up to level to be reassembled and use proper joist hangers.

Safety tip, use the jacks to lift, but once up, set a stack of lumber or blocks to hold it up while working underneath. If you have some 4x4 stock (or 2 2x4s edgewise), don't lift a specific joist, but use a cross piece to lift several and spread the force.


I have had a similar issue and I used heavy duty jacks to lift it to the proper height and then added multiple lag screws or bolts to hold it up. I did not cut any previous nails or screws and the jack worked just fine. If you start and have difficulties, it would be good to be ready to remove or cut some of them.

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